Because his products keep failing on me. Only six months after my MacBook Pro was in the shop for one month, an absolutely insane I/O error (which essentially means you are fucked) has wreaked havoc on my OS again. Get this: both this time and the last time this happened, it occurred RIGHT AFTER INSTALLING UPDATES. I treat my computer well, yet there is no end to the problems I've been having with it. So once again, I had to back up a veritable cornucopia of files and am now heading to the Apple store in downtown San Francisco. I'll keep updating the blog-- after all, my external HD is quite light-- but posts may be slightly sporadic.
Sorry for the inconvenience. Here's a track to get you moving.
Tom Browne- Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move)
Hope you didn't buy anything today.
My friends, the boys of Teengirl Fantasy, have given me a new-ish track that they've been playing since this past spring, but which had yet to arrive in a recorded form that they liked. "Now That's What I Call Volume 2" is a slow-burner-- not too heavy on the kicks, but with a dusty bass-line, a carnivalesque main synth progression, and lush gauzy backing synths. The drum programming hisses and steams in near dub-step fashion, and the new addition of ethereal female orgasm noises makes the track's second part a real hot one. Awesome stuff from the Fantasy, as always.
Nick and Logan, as they are known to their familiars, have a new-ish remix of Telepathe out now on London's Merok, and the label is putting out a limited-edition 7" by the boys in mid-December. I would argue that they're the most interesting group that the label has put out, but this is neither the time nor place-- with one year as a group, Nick and Logan have already accomplished what takes some many years. Congratulations and good cheer all around!
Teengirl Fantasy- Now That's What I Call Volume 2
Tomorrow, some hot cool new something.
Today, a departure from beats for a bit of relaxation, a bit of organic warmth. A few weeks ago, after I had posted a track by Stars of the Lid, a former co-owner of Kranky Records contacted me about his new label (Flingco Sound System) and its newest release, by one Brendan Burke who goes under the name of Interbellum. The record, Over All of Spain the Sky is Clear, is punctuated by gorgeous string/piano harmonies, a halting sense of melancholy, and a dreaminess that can only come from long sustains on a cello. Samples gurgle slightly in the background, as if a conversation below the oft-unusual harmonies and open musical forms that Burke conjures. Quite a lovely record that sits nicely with Stars of the Lid and other 'slow' experimental forms, Interbellum's effort comes out on December 8, and is a highly-recommended slice of music for the coming winter months.
Indeed, it is simply recommended no matter the season; I especially can't get enough of the track below-- the swells are palpable, the tones so 'pure' that the listener finds it impossible not to close the eyes and drift with Burke's music-craft.
Interbellum- Moitessier Turns Back
To all of you celebrating, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, a Black Friday treat from the boys of Teengirl Fantasy. Screw shopping, let's have a dance party!
A few things: I haven't been posting that much for a couple of reasons, the most notable being that I'm doing some exciting writing projects. The other is that I've simply been listening to SO MUCH great music that I could reach my YSI quota in a day or two if I posted it all, and I want to save some space for my end-of-the-year round-up, coming in mid-December. (This year it will include Best Singles, Best Albums and Best Discoveries, the latter of which will involve some of the more esoteric stuff I occasionally post). So, ON WITH IT.
Today, I offer you another track by the astounding Norma Jean Bell, one of Detroit's finest r&b/house producers, a good friend of Kenny Dixon Jr., and a fantastic sax player to boot. "Dreams" (featuring Debbie Welch) is a Kenny Dixon-produced, 120-bpm number with some luscious synth work, some ungodly crisp drum programming, near-infrasonic bass rumbles, and some very fine vocals by Norma Jean and Ms. Welch. There's also the looped samples to mention: the mid-level, backwards warped pseudo-vocal bit forms the backbone of the track. Nobody can ever get enough Norma Jean Bell-- she is truly one of the most fabulous house ladies you'll ever come across. From her 2001 album, Come Into My Room.
Norma Jean Bell- Dreams (featuring Debbie Welch)
Tomorrow, it'll come at ya.
The mix is almost done-- features all sorts of sounds. But mostly some heavy soulful shit.
So, a new bit from Europe. There's been tons of debate about the nature of deep house recently, with two camps forming: the die-hard US nationalists and the more laissez-faire Europeans. (And some who aren't on either side). Though I lean towards the production aesthetics and musicianship displayed on US deep house releases, I also think it is a bit silly to diss The Continent unfairly. Why? Well, because of releases like this one:
Motor City Drum Ensemble is an alias of Danilo Plessow of Stuttgart, who keeps himself quite busy. Plessow's Detroit house worship is ever-present on these releases, from the label artwork to the sample-heavy tracks, the lush Rhodes synth sounds to the alias itself. One could play the 115-bpm track next to Theo or Omar or Kenny and it would make perfect sense, especially given the heavy kicks and chunky, near-smeared handclaps. So, roll down your windows and catch this joint.
Motor City Drum Ensemble- Raw Cut 3
The mix and another wild track tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to finish up that mix for you, but instead, I'm going to give you an awesome Euro take on Chicago house.
Earlier this year, Poppcke and Niggemann released their first collaboration together, called "L'aurora," but what's more interesting is the Chicago-style remix courtesy of Agnes, who remains one of my favorite European producers around. His take utilizes lush backing synth swells, hi-frequency string soars, and a dubbed out main melodic loop that is occasionally punctuated by some excellently crisp laser stabs. A cut-up vocal sample adds to the ambiance, and at 123 bpm, the track is perfect for warming up during a deeper house set. Great stuff! On Moonpool a label that seems to have great potential.
Poppcke & Niggemann- L'Aurora
Tomorrow, let's hope for that mix! I'm quite busy, but should be working on it tonight!
Apologies for my absence-- been working and enjoying the last days of sun in California, where summer is ever-present this year, it seems.
Today, I'm offering up a 'suite' of remixes done by Joe Claussell, the head of Sacred Rhythm out of New York. These are deep, latin, tribal numbers with an adequate amount of hallucinatory awesomeness and kick deepness to keep it totally warm and grooving. I have been loving the percussionists in the parks of California, and this has that sort of feel, given the off-kilter Spanish samples-- just loving the rhythms and the swing of the sound. Awesome track(s) by some folks who need more love!
Juzu a.k.a. Moochy- Lugar Precioso RMX (The Sacred Rhythm Version Suite)
Another thing I've been doing has been preparing a mini-mix for all of you, which should be finished tomorrow! Jazzy, banging house coming your way.
Today, a track from the young-yet-legendary Nick Curly's upcoming EP on Murmur. "Kalimba" is a 125-bpm tech-house number with the kalimba, the modernised version of the African mbira, at its center-- multiple tracks of kalimba loops swirl about each other in wonderful syncopation. Way-lo kicks, a slightly-delayed bass-line, and some chunky hand-claps round out the track. Though some might toss this into the 'Ethno-house appropriation' category (which unfortunately occurred to Henrik Schwartz's collab with Amampondo earlier this year), I am a great fan of African percussive music, and find that when this sound is done well, it can be incredibly versatile, as this track is. Great stuff!
Removed by request
Tomorrow, thinking something a bit soulful. In the meantime, check out the newly-redesigned eeshirtay page-- Harry is doing great work!
Today, I give you some brand-new dark techno from the UK's Tim Cook. From his second release on Chris Fortier's Fade imprint, "Perfect World" is 127-bpm slice of noisily masterful drum-programming, hallucinatory vocal samples, and a lo-mid two-stab that totally puts the track into the slamming category. With acidy flourishes here and there and perfect EQs, "Perfect World" might not necessarily put you into sunnytime daydreams, but it will surely make you want to find the nearest warehouse techno party and get down. Cook is a talent to watch out for-- his three releases have been consistently interesting takes on the more rough-sounding, dirty side of techno, and his upcoming Humanize Me EP (from which the track is taken), is quite something. Recommended!
Tim Cook- Perfect World
Tomorrow, something a bit more dreamy.
I lied yesterday when I promised some new tech-house jams for your ears, mostly because I forgot that B.O.D.Y.H.E.A.T. is co-hosting Daniel Wang tonight at the Elbo Room. As I did when they hosted Model 500, I'm going to give you a Wang track today, from 2007. "Higashiyama No Autumn" is a 101-bpm slow-burning disco track with some heavy bass, an awesome koto hook, and some great harmonies involving the shakuhachi. A nice evocation of fall, and perhaps a presaging of Hercules & Love Affair's re-take on disco, "Higashiyama No Autumn" is a lovely bit of Japanese-inflected dance music. Wang is a true pioneer, and his set tonight is bound to be excellent, so if you're in the Bay Area, come out! I'll be there on crutches, so there's no excuse for you able-bodied partiers.
Daniel Wang- Higashiyama No Autumn
Tomorrow, that new tech-house I promised!
Today, I told you I'd give you something unexpected, and who of you would have thought that I'd ever post a track by Joni Mitchell? Granted, it was composed by Charles Mingus and comes from Joni's Mingus album, but Joni brings her pipes (when they were still amazing) and some crazy production work to the track-- the Jaco Pastorius horn arrangement is reverbed out of its mind, and there's even some WILD vocal panning towards the end of the track, the likes of which had never been heard in a Joni track at the time. Pastorius' funky-ass bass work on the track is also fantastic. A real jazzy gem, and something completely unlikely! Enjoy.
Joni Mitchell- The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines
Tomorrow, some new tech-house jams for yr ears.
On this most historic of days, I thought I'd give you something with a bit of oration in it. Inspired by our new president and his predecessors? Goddamn right I am.
"You Are..." is the first single from the new Kenny Larkin album on Planet E. Channeling Ernestus and von Oswald in terms of percussive gestures, Larkin utilizes chordal octave changes and EQs to create much of the drama in the track, but it is the vocal bits that really give the track something different-- it is almost as if you are transported to the United Church of Techno whilst listening to this track, and at 134 bpm, it certainly allows plenty room for dancing. Great stuff from one of the best producers working today-- I only wonder why the lovely Larkin (who is quite the eye candy, indeed) never comes up to San Francisco from West Hollywood? Baby, it's a five hour drive and a shorter plane ride! Grace us with your presence!
Kenny Larkin- You Are...
Tomorrow, thinking something that you would never expect....
Of our beat-driven tracks today, the first is a downtempo minimal number from Hreno & The Mole. "Living" utilizes deep kicks and obscured secondary percussion much in the Chain Reaction style, and a simple three-chord minor progression drives the 120-bpm track. One-third of the way into the track, a subtle shift occurs as a voice intones 'living' every eight measures: the number of percussive elements is raised, though still obscured by filters and EQ mastery. A very nice track indeed, especially for a wet day in the city.
Hreno & The Mole- Living
Thomas Cox of Infinite State Machine recently did an interview with Rick Wade on Resident Advisor, and it got me thinking about which Wade tracks have always stuck out to me. It came down to tracks from 1999's Deep Threats 12", and in the end, I chose to give you "Still Angry," perhaps one of the more hypnotic deep house tracks of the late 1990s. With crisp hi-hats, deep kicks, a blazing four-note melodic loop, and a bass-line that drops in and out like wild, the 125-bpm track is a real breath of fresh air, especially given how many producers have been aping this style recently to much lesser effect! Highly recommended!
Rick Wade- Still Angry
Tomorrow, thinking something a bit noisy.
Should have two fresh tracks up by the end of today, but before that, I wanted to make public my newfound love affair with Stars of the Lid. I can never thank my friend Eric enough for giving me all of this beautiful music, which has been keeping me calm in the mornings and while writing abstract haiku. (Seriously). So bliss out to this, and get ready for some deep house and downtempo later today.
Stars of the Lid- The Daughters of Quiet Minds
Labels: Stars of the Lid